venerdì 23 giugno 2017

Jeremy, be careful. Gordon thinks everyone wants to get rid of Theresa and, in desperation, throw her into your arms
Jeremy Corbyn has overtaken Theresa May for the first time on the question of who voters think would make the best prime minister, a YouGov poll suggests. Photo:


Viva Zapata!

Four-time Women’s World Chess Champion 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán), exceptionally assisted by two experienced German tutors, Matthias D. and Matthias K., has finally announced the release of her VIP high-end, customized trading course package – supposedly an advanced level – which as usual aims to combine Tradimo’s youthful beer-dependent yuppism to the Teutonic seriousness. No wonder, you have a free trial for the first month. For further information, see
And furthermore 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) will tour Mexico June 23-30. Tomorrow she will play a 20-board simultaneous chess exhibiton in the Salón Internacional of the Centro Deportivo Villa Olímpica (Olympic Village Sports Center) in Mexico City, Mexico, which will be followed by a meeting with the local fans. For further details, see

We apologize for the interruption to our scheduled program. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

I beg your pardon, Missus Edna Mode; in a moment our TV station will again broadcast colour programs; if you’ll have a moment’s patience, Missus Mode, if you please


Life can be hard for women over 30 in the fashion industry, but not enough for Olympic Goddess 吴敏霞 (Wú Mǐnxiá), who will appear in July’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar China, showing how women may actually challenge the stereotype of age and time. Photo:

Jeremy, Gordon says you better turn off the phone ’cause now that everybody’s kicked her off she could become nervous, twitchy and angry
Jean-Claude Juncker among those dismissing Theresa May’s offer as “not sufficient”, suggesting PM must go further. [Read more].
Theresa May at the EU summit in Brussels. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

手語 (Sign language)

Last Tango in Paris

giovedì 22 giugno 2017

Everytime I think of her I get so sad that I can’t keep from remembering that rainy night when she called me to give me her goodnight kiss

The Importance of Not Being Arcovazzi

January, 1962. Bernie Sanders participates in a sit-in at the University of Chicago to protest housing segregation at the school. Photo © Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos.


“Diorama” ™ © Mado Flynn

Handmade in Italy by Mado Flynn

The Miles Between

Bela Khotenashvili – Valentina Evgenyevna Gunina
6th World Women’s Team Chess Championship; Khanty-Mansiysk, June 20, 2017
Queen’s Indian Defence E12

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. Bf4 Bb7 5. e3 Bb4+ 6. Nfd2 0-0 7. a3 Be7 8. Nc3 c5 9. d5 exd5 10. cxd5 Bxd5 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. Qf3 Nc7 13. Qb7 d6 14. Nc4!? The theoretical matrix is 14. Ne4 Qd7 15. 0-0-0 Qc6 16. Nxd6 Qxb7 17. Nxb7 Ne6 18. Bg3 a6 19. Bc4 Ra7 20. Bd5 Rc8 21. Nd6 Bxd6 22. Bxe6 fxe6 23. Rxd6 Kf7 24. Rxb6 Nd7 25. Rd6 c4 26. Rhd1 Nc5 27. Kc2 Kf6 28. R1d4 Nd3 29. Re4 Re7 30. Rxa6 Kf5 31. f3 Rb7 32. Ra5+ Kf6 33. Be5+ Nxe5 34. Raxe5 Rcb8 35. Rxe6+ Kf7 36. Kc3 Rb3+ 37. Kxc4 Rxb2 38. g4 Rc2+ 39. Kd3 Rxh2 40. Re7+ Kf8 41. Ra7 Ra2 42. Rc4 Rb3+ 43. Ke4 1 : 0 A. J. Miles – Kortschnoi, 41st Hoogovens International Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 1979. Khotenashvili’s move also seems good enough, but probably it is not so strong as Miles’s one. 14. ... Nba6. Not 14. ... b5? on account of 15. Nxd6! Bxd6 16. 0-0-0 with a crushing bind, Rosen – Inđić, 62th Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, Cleveland 2015. 15. Nxd6! Rb8. Not 15. ... Bxd6? 16. 0-0-0! and Black ends up in a mess. 16. Qf3. Maybe, at this point, White should look for something better. 16. ... b5? Now, it was time for Gunina to play 16. ... Bxd6 17. Rd1 Ne8 18. Bxd6 Nxd6 19. Qc6 Qc7 when White regains the piece, but the ending looks very drawish. 17. Nf5! Khotenashvili goes directly to attack without thinking of material gains. 17. ... Bf6 18. Rd1 Qe8 19. Bd3 Bxb2? Gunina seems oblivious to the danger. Probably best is 19. ... g6 although after 20. h4! it’s unlikely Black may resist for long to her opponent’s initiative.

20. Nxg7! Khotenashvili offers a wonderful demolition of Black’s defence. 20. ... Bxg7 21. Bxc7 Qe6. Not 21. ... Nxc7?? because of 22. Qf5 f6 23. Qxh7+ Kf7 24. Bg6+ winning the Queen. 22. Bxb8 Bc3+ 23. Kf1 Rxb8 24. g3. White is the Exchange ahead, and retains her overwhelming initiative, so the rest is quite easy. 24. ... Nc7 25. Qh5 c4 26. Bxh7+ Kg7 27. Bf5 Qf6 28. Rd7 Ne8 29. Kg2 a5 30. Rhd1 Bb2 31. Rxf7+! Qxf7 32. Rd7 Qxd7 33. Qh7+ Kf8 34. Qxd7 Bxa3 35. Bg6 Nd6 36. e4 Rb7 37. Qe6 Rc7 38. e5 Nf7 39. Qb6 Re7 40. Bxf7 Rxf7 41. Qxb5 c3 42. Qxa5 Bb2 43. Qc5+ Kg7 44. e6 Rf6 45. Qg5+ 1 : 0.

Nights in Tents

Pilton, England: An aerial view of tents at the Glastonbury Festival. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA.

The oddest piece of tech hardware ever? Snapchat’s Spectacles. Photo: REX/Shutterstock.

Incidentally delivering his own resignation speech
Pauper videri Cinna vult; et est pauper.

Cinna wishes to seem poor, and poor he is, indeed.

Cinna vuol sembrare povero; e lo è.

Martial, Epigrams, Book 8, XIX
English translation by George Moody
Italian translation by Giuseppe Lipparini

La Musica deuxième

Well, of course, it’s just as you like, Missus Edna Mode

Take it easy, Mr. Incredible. What did you expect from Edna’s chaperone?

Tears fell from my eyes when I suddenly realized that she was doing me the grace and favour of leaving on tiptoe with the same delicacy and kindness as she did when she entered

Jeremy, Boris apparently wanted to give a clear sign of his love for Theresa without making Tony too jealous of a rival
The foreign secretary got into difficulties over the details of the Queen’s speech when doing the rounds of the broadcasters. [Read more].
Boris Johnson struggling to answer questions about Queen’s speech. Photo: Reuters.

mercoledì 21 giugno 2017

Foxy Lady
Controversial parts of the Tory manifesto, including foxhunting and new grammar schools, have been dropped. [Read more].

Round Table

Pyotr Veniaminovich Svidler – Aryan Tari
11th World Team Chess Championship; Khanty-Mansiysk, June 21, 2017
English Opening A22

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Bb4 4. Bg2 0-0 5. Nf3 Bxc3 6. bxc3 d6 7. 0-0 Re8 8. Ne1 Nbd7!? For 8. ... c6 9. d3 h6 10. Rb1 d5 11. Qb3 b6 12. cxd5 cxd5 13. Nc2 Nc6 14. h3 Bb7 15. Nb4 Na5 16. Qb2 d4 17. c4 Rc8 see Nakamura – Ivanchuk, 54th Torneo di Capodanno, Reggio Emilia 2011. Instead, after 8. ... Nc6 9. e4 the game would transpose into an English Four Knights line (A29) certainly more pleasant for White; for instance: 9. ... Nd7 10. f4 exf4 11. Rxf4 a6 12. d4 b5 13. e5 Ndb8 14. Qh5 dxe5 15. Rh4 h6 16. Bxh6 g6 17. Qg5 Bb7 18. Nd3 Nd7 19. Rf1 Na5 20. Qxd8 Raxd8 21. Bxb7 Nxb7 22. Bg5 f6 23. Bxf6 Nxf6 24. Rxf6 Rd6 25. Rxd6 Nxd6 26. c5 Nc4 27. Re4 a5 28. Nxe5 b4 29. cxb4 axb4 30. Kf2 Nxe5 31. Rxe5 Ra8 32. Re2 Ra3 33. Rb2 Kf7 34. Rxb4 Rxa2+ 35. Kf3 Ke6 36. h4 Kd5 37. Kf4 1 : 0 Dubov – Mchedlishvili, World Rapid Chess Championship, Doha 2016. 9. Nc2 h6 10. Rb1 Rb8 11. d3 Nc5 12. h3 a6 13. Nb4 Bd7 14. Be3

18. ... e4! The most difficult move of the game. 15. Bd4 c6 16. Qd2 Bf5 17. Qf4 Bg6 18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. Qxf6 gxf6 20. d4 Na4 21. Rb3 Nb6. So far Tary has played very well, with a grace and elegance which may recall some games of 7th World Chess Champion Vasily Vasilyevich Smyslov. However paradoxical it may appear, Black played much better, even though the game is roughly equal. 22. Rfb1. Svidler thought for eight minutes before resolving for the (somewhat committal) move in the text. Stockfish’s line 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. cxd5 cxd5 24. Rfb1 (or 24. Rb6 Rec8=) 24. ... b5 25. a4 Rb6! 26. axb5 Reb8 appears to be quite even. 22. ... e3! White might have overlooked – or underestimated – Black’s keen rejoinder. If, instead, 22. ... Nxc4? then 23. Nxa6! with complications very much in White’s favour. 23. Nd3. White decides to sacrifice the Exchange for almost no material compensation, in contrast with the science of the machine which advised him to seek salvation in a most unbalanced way: 23. Nxa6 (idem to say 23. Nxc6) 23. ... bxa6 24. R1b2 Nd7 25. Bxc6 with a very complex ending in which the Pawn mass in the centre might compensate White for the piece deficit. Svidler, however, is a very practical player and so I am inclined to think that he has chosen his own “pseudo-escape” not without good reasons. 23. ... Nxc4 24. Bxc6 Re7 25. fxe3 b5. Threatening both ... Nc4-d2 and ... Nc4-a5. 26. Re1 Na5 27. Bd5 Nxb3 28. axb3 Rxe3 29. Kf2 Rbe8. Beyond the fact that 29. ... Re7 (Stockfish) would have actually been stronger (30. Nb4 Rc8!), Tari’s “lack of will” looks quite strange, unless it was dictated by team policy and/or team decisions. ½ : ½. Tari’s last move was euphemistically accompanied by a draw offer (in fact, after 30. Ne5 White regains the Exchange and should be able to draw the endgame a Pawn down without too much difficulty), which Svidler – of course! – did not refuse to accept.

Ian Aleksandrovich Nepomniachtchi throwing an enigmatic glance at Pyotr Veniaminovich Svidler. Photo: Anastasiya Balakhontseva/Ugra Chess Academy.

Due to the absence of Magnus Carlsen (who’s playing the Paris Grand Chess Tour 2017) and Jon Ludvig Nilssen Hammer, Norway’s first board was delivered to Aryan Tari. Photo: Anastasiya Balakhontseva/Ugra Chess Academy.


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Handmade in Italy by Mado Flynn

The Mystic Isle of Avalon

Glastonbury, England: Revellers arrive at Worthy Farm in Somerset for the Glastonbury Festival. Photo: Dylan Martínez/Reuters.